31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 23} Me, Myself, and Bob

Me, Myself, and Bob by Phil Vischer. Day 23 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderMe, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking VegetablesMe, Myself, and Bob by Phil Vischer. Day 23 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Phil Vischer

I read Vischer’s autobiography in 2007, soon after it was published. I had no children and had never seen a single episode of his famous Veggie Tales, and knew virtually nothing about him when I picked up his book after hearing a brief snippet of an interview with him on the radio.

I am so glad I heard that interview segment, and so glad that it piqued my interest in Vischer’s story enough to search for his book. His writing is funny and engaging (albeit sometimes scattered), and his story is engrossing. I appreciated so much how he doesn’t sugar-coat his mistakes, but he also doesn’t wallow in them. How he was able to see what really mattered in his story – in all our our stories – has stuck with me.

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31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 22} Two for the Road

Two for the Road by Jane and Michael Stern. Day x of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderTwo for the Road: Our Love Affair With American FoodTwo for the Road by Jane and Michael Stern. Day x of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Jane and Michael Stern

I could never be a real food critic (there are too many things I don’t like to be fair to a restaurant or chef), but I certainly loved reading about Jane and Michael Stern’s experiences across the country as they searched out the best food. And for the Sterns, the best food isn’t found in five-star restaurants, but in small places known mostly by locals.

The book is a mish-mash of cookbook, guidebook, restaurant directory, and memoir, but in the Stern’s hands it works, blending into humorous vignettes of their travels. If you’re not into reading about food, or want a more linear account of events, this isn’t the book for you. It’s instead a meandering journey filled with their experiences as they document their love for road food.
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31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 21} An Innocent, a Broad

An Innocent, a Broadby Ann Leary - Day 21 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderAn Innocent, a BroadAn Innocent, a Broadby Ann Leary - Day 21 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Ann Leary

I may need to reread this book now that I have children of my own, because I think I might enjoy it even more once I can more fully appreciate Leary’s experiences.

Leary takes what is expected to be a brief trip to London. At only 26 weeks pregnant, it should be an uncomplicated vacation for her while her husband performs in a BBC program.

Uncomplicated until she goes into labor and ends up in British hospital with a very prematurely-born son.

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31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 20} Stiff

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. Day 20 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderStiff: The Curious Lives of Human CadaversStiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. Day 20 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Mary Roach

I feel like I should start this entry with the disclaimer instead of ending with it. Yes, it’s about cadavers. Yes, if you’re really sensitive about what happens to dead bodies you probably shouldn’t read it. Yes, if you think bodies should always be handled reverently, this isn’t the book for you.

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31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 19} The Sharper Your Knife The Less You Cry

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn. Day 19 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderThe Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking SchoolThe Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn. Day 19 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Kathleen Flinn

I’ve already discussed my love for food-related memoirs and cooking-school accounts, so I perhaps shouldn’t have included another book in that genre. But it’s my series so there’s going to be another one. I could probably had a half dozen without too much effort.

Flinn’s tale is probably my favorite cooking-school memoir, both because of her gift at recounting her experiences at the school, and because of the wonderful setting; Paris almost becomes a character of it’s own in the book.

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31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 18} Fortune Cookie Chronicles

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee. Day 18 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderThe Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese FoodThe Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee. Day 18 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Jennifer 8 Lee

A book about Chinese food in America doesn’t, on the surface, sound that interesting to me. After reading the book, I’m more firmly convinced than ever that in the hands of a skilled narrator, any topic can become interesting.

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31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 17} The Endless Steppe

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by Esther Hautzig. Day 17 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderThe Endless Steppe: Growing Up in SiberiaThe Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by Esther Hautzig. Day 17 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Esther Hautzig

Technically a children’s book, this is still an excellent account of Hautzig’s childhood. I’ve read a lot of World War II memoirs, but this one takes a different approach; instead of facing the Nazis, the Polish Hautzig and her family were arrested and sent by the Soviets to the steppes of Siberia, accused of being capitalist enemies of the people.

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31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 16} Team of Rivals

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Day 16 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham LincolnTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Day 16 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Doris Kearns Goodwin

It’s not often that I so enjoy book that I was assigned for class (in this case, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War IINo Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II) that I finish the class and seek out other books by the author. But I did this time.

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31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 15} Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life by Alison Weir. Day 15 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderEleanor of Aquitaine: A LifeEleanor of Aquitaine: A Life by Alison Weir. Day 15 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Alison Weir

While I love biographies and am not afraid of lengthy books (this one is well over 400 pages), sometimes I almost dread starting them – it can be hard to keep all the personalities straight, and how they’re related by blood or marriage.

Weir does a fantastic job of writing her biographies in such a way that I don’t struggle to remember who is who, and who is this other person, and how do they connect to the main character? That may not seem like significant praise, but it’s important to me that if I’m reading a biography for fun, I want to not have to take notes on who the various individuals are. If I’m reading a biography for fun, I want it to be, well, fun. And it is when it’s a biography by Weir. Perhaps it’s the fact that she’s also a novelist, but Weir is excellent at keeping the story going.

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31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 14} A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. Day 14 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderA Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian TrailA Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. Day 14 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Bill Bryson

For someone with no affection for camping out (I like my comfy mattress and the convenience of indoor plumbing too much to appreciate roughing it), I love reading about bike treks (It’s Not about the Tapas), and other outdoor adventures quite a bit. Apparently vicarious adventure is my favorite sort of adventure.

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